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#AskExcelinEd: Are State Data Systems Important to Improve Education?

• Claire Voorhees


The public deserves access to critical information that can support student success—especially the parents, educators and state leaders working each day on behalf of students. With this data, these stakeholders can make better-informed decisions to help their students.

A strong state education data system can answer critical questions about the quality of schools and programs, such as: Are school successfully preparing all groups of students to read by the end of third grade? Do students have access to the courses they need to be prepared for the future? Are schools providing a safe and productive environment for students? And, are a state’s career and technical education (CTE) offerings aligned to workforce demands?

Unfortunately, strong state education data systems that provide easily accessible answers to these and other key questions are the exception—not the rule.

Explore the resources below to learn how states can prioritize strong data systems that allow for effective, data-informed decisions for student success. And, as always, please let ExcelinEd know how we can help your state bring valuable information to all of your education stakeholders.

Using State Data Systems to Create an Informed Culture in Education

Education Commission of the States’ new policy guide Using State Data Systems to Create an Information Culture in Education explores how state leaders can more intentionally and effectively develop a culture that uses data to inform critical education decisions.

The State of CTE: Improving Data Quality and Effectiveness

Advance CTE’s new report The State of Career Technical Education: Improving Data Quality and Effectiveness identifies ways states can improve the quality of their data systems to make more effective use of their data.


About the School Accountability Audience

State-level school accountability is hard to get right for technical reasons, for political reasons and for one reason that is perhaps even more fundamental: there are so many different stakeholders. Learn more in our #AskExcelinEd blog post All About the School Accountability Audience: Who uses accountability data? Why? How?

About the author

Claire Voorhees

Claire is the National Director of Policy. Previously, Claire worked at HCM Strategists where she provided clients with strategic advice on new approaches to education reform. Claire was also an instructor at Koç University in Istanbul, teaching a comparative course on education rights and policies in the U.S. and Turkey. Before spending time in Turkey, Claire was an associate at Hogan Lovells law firm and served as an associate director in the White House Domestic Policy Council where she assisted senior staff in shaping the Administration’s education policies. Claire began her career as a fourth grade teacher at P.S. 43 in the South Bronx, New York. A native of Washington, D.C., Claire earned a bachelor’s degree from Duke University, a master of science in elementary education from Mercy College, a master of public policy from Georgetown University Public Policy Institute, and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.